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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Links - 22nd May 2014

Accounting Quality Effects of imposing Gender Quotas on Boards of Directors - "This paper studies the consequences on accounting quality of imposing gender quotas on boards of directors. We use a Norwegian law from 2003 requiring that 40 percent of directors be women as a unique setting to test whether the imposition of board members affects firms’ monitoring. The Gender Quota was an exogenous shock for Norwegian firms, and they were heterogeneously affected by this quota. We test the effects of the quota on the monitoring role of the board of directors, estimating differences in the level of earnings management on firms. We find that firms undertaking greater board changes to fulfill the 2003 quota are more likely to record abnormal levels of the accrual component of earnings after the passage of the law. We conclude that quotas may lead to boards with lower monitoring capabilities that, in turn, are less able to constrain earnings management."
Gender quotas: hurting corporate governance

The Changing of the Boards: The Impact on Firm Valuation of Mandated Female Board Representation - "In 2003, a new law required that 40 percent of Norwegian firms’ directors be women – at the time only nine percent of directors were women. We use the pre-quota cross-sectional variation in female board representation to instrument for exogenous changes to corporate boards following the quota. We find that the constraint imposed by the quota caused a significant drop in the stock price at the announcement of the law and a large decline in Tobin’s Q over the following years, consistent with the idea that firms choose boards to maximize value. The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards."
Gender quotas: hurting corporate performance

A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas - "This paper studies the impact of gender quotas for corporate board seats on corporate decisions. We examine the introduction of Norway’s 2006 quota, comparing affected firms to other Nordic companies, public and private, that were unaffected by the rule. We find that affected firms undertook fewer workforce reductions than comparison firms, increasing relative labor costs and employment levels and reducing short-term profits. The effects are strongest among firms without female board members beforehand and are present even for boards with older and more experienced members afterward. The boards appear to be affecting corporate strategy in part by selecting likeminded executives."

iTunes 11.2 and Podcasts App 2.1 ... - Ars Technica OpenForum - "I had synced podcasts on my iPhone and a couple of iPods to iTunes using a smart playlist that limited it to EXACTLY the episodes that I wanted. I could even set up smart playlists for specific topics and have the search criteria filter it to matching topics, like say I wanted all the podcasts I'd downloaded on New York, for an upcoming trip. Now the smart playlists are showing all these OLD episodes which I've listened to or deleted right after it downloaded. What is RETARDED is that they show old episodes which don't show in the regular Podcasts view of iTunes. I've deleted these old episodes, because I don't want them syncing to the devices, but they may be hidden in another view, either My Podcasts or Unplayed. The list view count is down from something like 2030 to 1753 since I've upgraded. Why the fuck can't they live well enough alone. They keep making it worse every time out and now, apparently they want you to manage podcasts independently on each iOS device, apart from what's on iTunes."
Each new iTunes version has some new shit to make life more difficult

"You Gave the Right of Suffrage to the Negro - Why Not Give It to Us?" - "I copy below from one of Lincoln's letters, which is published in the Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume XI, page 130, in which letter he takes up the question of the contemplated reconstruction of the Confederate States. Referring to those who had been in rebellion against the United States Government, be said: "I cannot see if universal amnesty is granted, how under the circumstances I can avoid exacting in return universal suffrage, or at least suffrage ON THE BASIS OF INTELLIGENCE AND MILITARY SERVICE." Referring to the colored man he said: "I am clear and decided as to what course I shall pursue in the premises, regarding it a religious duty as the Nation's guardian of these (colored) people WHO HAVE so heroically vindicated their manhood on the battle field, where in assisting to save the life of the Republic, THEY HAVE DEMONSTRATED IN BLOOD THEIR RIGHT TO THE BALLOT, which is but the humane protection of the flag they have so fearlessly defended." By carefully reading Lincoln's letter, a part of which is quoted above, it will be seen that he said in substance that he could not grant suffrage without exacting military service in return, thus establishing the fact that all those who have the right of suffrage are subject to MILITARY SERVICE, which is the same principle carried out with aliens who pay taxes but cannot be drafted as soldiers, because they do not have the suffrage. This makes it plain that those who do not have the suffrage are not under obligation to go to war or to enforce our laws, but those who do have the suffrage arc under obligation to go to war if necessary and to help enforce the laws of this country. Lincoln strengthened this doctrine by only proposing in the above letter to give suffrage to those negroes who had served in the United States Army. He proposed to give it to those colored men "who have so heroically vindicated their manhood on the battle field." He also confirmed this doctrine during his first Presidential term by saying that United States soldiers, including thousands of foreigners in the field bearing arms and offering their lives in battle for the defense of this Republic, many of whom had not been naturalized, were entitled to the right of suffrage and should be allowed to vote on the battle fields, thus thoroughly establishing the doctrine that the right of suffrage can only be obtained by being willing and able to defend this government in time of war and by enforcing the laws in time of peace."

Where is the Ice Hotel in Iceland? / Icehotel Iceland - "We are sorry to inform you that there is no Ice Hotel in Iceland. The original Icehotel is in Lappland, Sweden. Nevertheless, Iceland is a fantastic destination for winter vacation. Visit a Viking Winter Wonderland with hot springs, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, fjords and Northern Lights"

Chinese spies at Sydney University - "China is building large covert informant networks inside Australia's leading universities, prompting Australia to strengthen its counter-intelligence capabilities. Chinese intelligence officials have confirmed to Fairfax Media that they are building networks to monitor the ethnic Chinese community to protect Beijing's "core interests". Much of the monitoring work takes place in higher education institutions, including Sydney University and Melbourne University, where more than 90,000 students from mainland China are potentially exposed to ideas and activities not readily available at home. Fairfax has interviewed lecturers and Chinese-born students who have suffered repercussions because of comments they made in Australian classrooms which were reported through Chinese intelligence channels... Such informant networks are driving the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to increase its capabilities. ''They have more resources in Sydney University than we do,'' an Australian official said. ''No question.''"

MSG and gluten intolerance: Is the nocebo effect to blame? - "I told my companions at a large banquet that the kitchen had promised to avoid using MSG. Everyone thanked me and happily ate their meal, dish after poisoned dish. An hour later? Two hours later? The next day? Nothing... yet foreigners living in China routinely complained of reactions to their food that included headaches, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Was there something about my presence that conferred temporary resistance to MSG? Or could it be that MSG sensitivity was only in their heads?... Double-blinded studies failed to turn up evidence of a clinical condition. MSG, many people noted, appears in everything from sushi to Doritos. Journalists performed experiments similar to mine, their results echoing the consensus of professional scientists: In the overwhelming majority of cases, MSG sensitivity is a psychological phenomenon. Despite this thorough debunking, a surprisingly large number of people—generally those who lived through the epidemic—still insist they are sensitive to MSG. Google around and you’ll turn up scores of alarmist websites, which tend to combine outdated research with anecdotal, indignant rebuttals of the current scientific wisdom: “How dare you suggest my MSG sensitivity is only in my head?"... Occasionally, as with vaccines and climate change denial, alarmism veers into paranoia, yielding accusations that a shadowy East Asian cabal is paying off scientists and journalists to regurgitate their propaganda... two-thirds of people who think they are gluten intolerant really aren’t. In light of this, the even-handed Sanghavi suggested that “patients convinced they have gluten intolerance might do well to also accept that their self-diagnosis may be wrong.” Predictably, the comment thread exploded with rebuttals: defensive anecdotes, doctrinal pronouncements about the evils of gluten, and accusations of corporate malfeasance, all of which bear a striking resemblance in tone and content to the rhetoric of anti-MSG advocates. For many, the truth of physiological gluten intolerance has now acquired a quasi-religious status... Suggesting that gluten intolerance might have a psychological basis threatens a similarly foundational belief, namely that we are rational beings, competent interpreters of reality immune to mass hysteria and self-deception... Under oath, eyewitnesses constantly forget crucial details and replace them with their own fabrications. They aren’t liars—they’re just human... Food historian Ian Mosby has explained the “success” of Chinese restaurant syndrome by connecting it to racialized discourse that drew on a vision of Chinese cooking as bizarre or extreme. In the case of gluten intolerance, it doesn’t take much to come up with a plausible confirmation bias. Only nine years ago, 1 in every 11 Americans was on a low-carb diet. In a country terrified of weight gain and recently obsessed with the Atkins diet, gluten makes a great villain... food aversions often turn into a way of life. Like religion, avoiding gluten requires personal sacrifice. Gluten intolerance creates communities, which, like religious communities, share stories of suffering and redemption, and share meals made special by the presence of a food taboo. It’s no wonder people take offense at the suggestion that gluten intolerance could be psychological—after all, who wants to have built their way of life on a “mere” trick of the mind?... Many basic claims of nutrition science are unintuitive and sometimes don’t stand up to repeated research. (Salt? Cholesterol? Vitamins? Alcohol? Coffee?)"

Male rape in America: A new study reveals that men are sexually assaulted almost as often as women. - "gender norms are shaking loose in a way that allows men to identify themselves—if the survey is sensitive and specific enough—as vulnerable. A recent analysis of BJS data, for example, turned up that 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator... The final outrage in Stemple and Meyer’s paper involves inmates, who aren’t counted in the general statistics at all... Those surveys turned up the opposite of what we generally think is true. Women were more likely to be abused by fellow female inmates, and men by guards, and many of those guards were female. For example, of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89 percent were boys reporting abuse by a female staff member. In total, inmates reported an astronomical 900,000 incidents of sexual abuse."

How gay Americans can best help gay Africans. - "So far, advocates for change have mostly worked to raise awareness of abuses and apply political pressure on governments that have passed or are considering anti-gay laws. Some of this pressure has come in the form of Western governments threatening to withdraw aid, or actually withdrawing it. Rather than helping, this tends to make things worse for sexual minorities on the continent, who are blamed for the cuts, according to Tabengwa and many other African human-rights activists... The U.S. LGBTQ movement started to gain traction only in the late 1960s, at a time when vast social and cultural changes had already shaken long-held prejudices and challenged conventional sexual morality. These cultural changes are what made the coming-out movement thinkable, and it was the expanding number of out LGBTQ people that eventually changed the political landscape. Without the cracks in the cultural conservatism that pre-dated the ’60s, there would have been much less room for tolerance... If what’s needed is to change African hearts and minds, we must shift our approach away from a scolding, punitive, paternalistic one and reach instead for something more engaged, more connected to actual Africans, and more focused on the communities where the necessary cultural shifts must happen"
It's a lot easier to be outraged and offended at homophobes than to try to engage them

Healthcare in Singapore: socialising the benefits and privatising the costs

How to reassure Ah Pek on the Pioneer Package

"Perhaps the challenge really lies in the complexity of the design. From a policy perspective, the PGP sits on top of the existing 3M (Medisave, MediShield, Medifund), Chas (Community Health Assist Scheme) and CDMP (Chronic Disease Management Programme) schemes, which arguably, most Singaporeans do not fully understand anyway. In the proposed system, there are multiple tiers of subsidy depending on whether the presenting disease is deemed "simple" or "complex", whether the disease is included in the CDMP, and so on.

The contrast with many countries with universal health coverage is stark. The message should be simple: At the point you need health care, concentrate on getting well; don't worry about money. In many schemes globally, there are no co-payments required, or if there are, these are in the form of fixed amounts with annual limits. In Singapore, the individual's co-payment can soar while the Government's share (subsidy amount) is capped.

Australia announced in its Budget last week that the government would impose a A$7 (S$8.20) co-payment for each visit to the general practitioner, up to a total of A$70 a year for concessional patients.

No caveats depending on type of disease, no exclusions depending on housing type or income. Just a simple A$7 figure to understand and remember.

This brings me to the second point. It is better to frame the scheme to be viewed through the lens of the pioneer and not the policymaker.

While $9 billion is an admirable commitment to the health- care needs of the pioneer generation, the pioneer would much rather know what he needs to pay individually rather than the amount the Government subsidises.

Imagine the thoughts running through the mind of a pioneer: "Yes, it is good to know there is a $28.50 per visit subsidy for a common illness like a cough or cold, but how much do I need to pay? Nothing? $10? $20? More?"

In stores, it is clever marketing to highlight a large discount - but what really matters to the customer is what he pays, not the discount. The Government's concerns over unanticipated costs and the instinct to safeguard public coffers are understandable and perhaps even natural.

But to the Singaporean living on $1,000 a month, a mis-estimation of the medical bill by $50 is 5 per cent of all he has; to the Government, the same mis-estimation occurring for even 10 per cent of our pioneers is $2.25 million, or barely a quarter of a per cent of the $9 billion allocated.

Perhaps the risk of getting the numbers wrong is a yoke easier borne by the Government's accountants than by elderly Singaporeans."

(Emphasis mine)


Me: let me guess.. gahmen partly owns our restructured hospitals

Someone: no
Gaahmen 100% owns restructured hospitals

Me: HAHA
then restructure simi

Someone: restructure the costs
"socialise the costs... and privatise the benefits"
that's 1 aspect. the other is that healthcare workers were previously considered civil servants

Me: so more expensive

Someone: meaning they enjoyed civil service benefits, and yes more ex
not to mention that the life expectancy of HCW is actually slightly lower
cos of the stresss, night shifts and constant garbage that MOH threw out

Me: actually since 1994 new civil servants have had SHIT benefits

Someone: yea well... $$$

Me: trying to keep the civil service young
well too bad young people wont stay

Someone: also, HCW as civil servants meant that the old fear of a commie insurrection thru the ranks of HCW, was still alive

that's my conspiracy theory
but essentially the new scheme afforded them the powers of a corporate entity, that could fire people at will
purely to "cut costs"
but have administrative bloat

Me: ah yes very important
and can hire lots of foreigners
cos no longer civil servants
and can claim that civil service has few employees
lower turnover!

Someone: MOH owns MOH Holdings, which owns all the hospitals
thru the clusters

yes, forgot about that
becos of the neverending exodus of HCW (nurses, drs, and allied health)
this new system afforded Ah Gong flexiibility to hire cheap foreign labor in unlimited numbers

yea... cos I think staff turnover is a minor KPI for civil service? can't recall
in 2004-2007, when the system shifted to the flat rate reimbursement
some people made noise

MOH responded by getting MOHH to fire them
"services no longer required"
"corporate decision"

Last time, in 1994 during the restructuring, MOH paid hosp per subsidised pts seen
so hosp made money based on factory converyor belt
but still made money seeing subsidised, so it was in a sense still ok

sicne the recent change, its flat rate and "I don't care if you sink or swim"
which causes the hospitals to scramble to get rid of subsidised patients

Me: no wonder so hard to have subsidised appts now

eh so how does the "subsidy" work if hospitals are not paid per patient?
and how do they ensure govt hospitals dont dump subsidised patients

Someone: they don't.

like i said, MOH 2010 ruling: dump subsidised
essentially a Gahmen decree to turn a profit at the expense of subsidised patients, but also not to let the public find out

Me: hurr

Someone: now hosp must stretch their dollar... and the rich subsidise the poor, indirectly, so... dunno good or bad

Me: so the so-called subsidy is really a price ceiling set by the government
and not a real subsidy

I'm sure this is not a secret
can I blog it

Someone: well
it says something about the system that a cold chill runs down my spine just when ou asked that question
and i worry about my license

well since there's no hard copy of the decree, its all hearsay anyway

Me: yeah so a hard copy exists somewhere

Someone: heh. so who's gonna find it?
Lisbeth Salander?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Links - 19th May 2014

Fuck No Misconceptions - "i fucking hate tumblr so much seriously
you guys are always like “i want equality!” except gay people are better than straight people and women are better than men and poc are better than white people and trans people are better than cis people
if you claim you want equality, but put someone down because they’re privileged, that doesn’t make you an advocate for equality, it makes you an asshole"
"You know I don’t understand this whole “We minorities are underprivileged every single day of our lives!” Like what? Where in America do you live that that is an every day thing? I’m Latina, female, pansexual, and on anxiety meds and you know what? In this whole week and the week before I have no felt “underprivileged” not once!
You know what? Being a woman I get helped out a lot for no reason other than the fact that I’m a woman. For example I was at the airport not too long ago coming back from Thailand. I was grabbing my bags from the conveyor belt and one of them was getting away from me. I was so weak (because I had been sick for weeks) that I couldn’t pick it up. A nice gentleman picked it up for me and put it on my cart. I saw many men helping out women with their bags, but not once did I see a single man getting any help at all with their bags.
In short, stop trying to make up shit and realize that good things do happen to you and sometimes it’s solely because you’re a female."

A Point of View: Sex and the French - "Whenever a French man of state has sex with someone not his wife, people call me up and ask why he did it. When I say people do, I really mean journalists (a sub-species whose personhood is sometimes in doubt) and I suppose I really mean newspaper editors and radio producers (a still more dubious class). But they do call, and they do ask. This is simply because I lived in France for some years and have written a lot about life there, and the false assumption is made that I am intimately expert on all its corners, including those obscure from my view. This is a version of the popular journalist's "fallacy of omniscience by proximity". I'm sure that anyone who ever wrote from Korea gets similar calls: "You lived there, right? You must have often seen out-of-favour relatives being eaten alive by ravenous dogs? Can't you tell our listeners something about it?"... Far from wanting to keep sex in the private sphere, the puritans can't wait to drag it out in public. Puritans are the least buttoned-up people in the world. They can't wait to pin a scarlet A for adultery on someone's clothing, or hold a public humiliation ritual... "What is it with these people?" the Brit journalists keep saying, speaking of the French ones. "Why do they refuse to invade the privacy of someone they've never met, or hang around all night to grab a few illicit pictures, causing immense pain to some stranger's wife and children, in order to obsess over a sexual affair of a kind they wish they were having themselves? And they call themselves journalists!... I think that one of the ways the French table civilises us is that it asks us both to indulge our hungers and to control them, at the same time. We do not gorge. We wait until everyone is seated. We consider the company even as we eye the dishes. The point of great French dining is not that we should simply sit down and celebrate our appetites, but that we have to transform our hungers into civilised desires. Learning which fork to use means learning when not to. Self-righteousness about other people's appetites is uncivilised. But not being able to control your own when the social occasion demands it is very bad manners. And that is one more thing I learned in France."

Be The Mayor - Welcome - "Waging an ongoing battle for the foursquare mayorship of your favorite venue?
Check here to see how you match up."

When Will I Be Mayor - "Have you ever wanted to become the mayor fo your favorite venue on foursquare? We can help make that dream, a reality. We search your foursquare? history to find out how many more times you need to check in get that coveted Mayorship. We even monitor venues that you are close, and send you weekly updates on your progress!"

Mathematical beauty activates same brain region as great art or music

'Startling Russian Fiction' Used to Justify Actions in Ukraine, U.S. Says - ""As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote: 'The formula "two plus two equals five" is not without its attractions,'" the State Department said Wednesday in an online statement, referring to a quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella "Notes from the Underground," published in 1864... "Putin's press conference reveals that we may have reached the weird moment when the dictator believes his own propaganda""

Short people are more prone to paranoia, study suggests - "researchers found that decreasing a person's height in a virtual experiment made them feel poorly about themselves, mistrustful, and more fearful that others were trying to hurt them... the women were more likely to think that they were being stared at and that other passengers in the train car had bad intentions towards them or were attempting to provoke them."
Maybe this is part of why women have poorer self-esteem and are more risk-averse

Are tall people smarter than short people? Research finds ‘moderate’ genetic connection between height, IQ - "Higher IQ scores and being taller than average are both associated with better health, according to previous research cited in the study. Short people are thought to be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, while higher IQ is linked to lower overall mortality risk and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and suicide. Study results don't always favor tall people, though. Other research has foundthat taller women are at increased risk for cancer after menopause, and studies on soldiers and athletes have found shorter individuals live longer on average than their taller peers."
Meanwhile IQ is supposedly rubbish

China Wants Jimmy Kimmel to Apologize… For a Third Time - "ABC has already issued two public apologies over a racially insensitive Jimmy Kimmel Live sketch in which a child suggested the U.S. “kill everyone in China” to solve its debt problem in an unscripted moment, but that didn’t stop a Chinese official from demanding Monday that the network say sorry again — and this time, “with a sincere attitude.” “ABC should face up to its mistake, and respond with a sincere attitude to the reasonable demands by Chinese people in America, and prevent a similar incident from occurring again,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a news conference, according to the Hollywood Reporter."
Meanwhile they keep demanding that Japan apologises for World War II. If Kimmel must apologise thrice (at least), Japan will never be able to apologise enough

Getting in on the act: How the porn industry intends to reinvent itself - "the Porn Weekender experience. For their money, they are provided with accommodation, taken on set for two days to see how films are made, and are allowed to direct the actors and create scenarios that they would like to see filmed, tell the performers what to wear, what to do, and so on. They can also request which models they'd like to take part and they can use their own cameras to film and photograph as much as they want. At all times, the models can veto any request they find distasteful... The oddest thing about the business plan, however, is that if the customers provide a health certificate proving they are free from Hepatitis B and C, HIV (I and II), syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia, and they successfully perform with a consenting model for two 15-minute scenes… they are actually paid for their efforts; €200 for the men, €400 for the women. "I've been inundated with requests from men, women and couples – straight and lesbian – inquiring about taking part in a scene," says Steve. "The couples usually want to try a threesome with a girl, and so did the one lesbian couple who enquired. Very few actually take that line of enquiry further. Most feel being on site and directing the models is interactive enough. "It is overwhelmingly men who want to see if they have what it takes to be a porn star. The reality is that they probably haven't. It is generally accepted in the industry that only one in 300 men can actually perform for the length of time required, with all the stopping and starting, under the lights and in view of other people." Steve has had dozens of enquiries from men wanting to take part in a film during the six months that Porn Weekender has been up and running; only three have turned up to the set – and none was able to perform. "We are prepared to pay them for two reasons – first, having them pay us or the models for sex would be prostitution, and we don't do that. Second, finding a man who can do this is so rare that it would actually be an event. I'm not kidding, the guys that can do this, get 'wood' on demand and for hours on end, they're freaks of nature"... There is a cycle of responses that goes: anticipation, embarrassment, shock, amazement, desire, loss of desire, acute senses of time and hunger, before moving on to boredom. A typical scene might involve a girl finding a toy under a pillow and playing with it; another girl catches her at it, joins in… cue hunger, boredom etc. The reason for this is that it all appears so clinical; the focused and specific nature of the acting is so surprisingly professional that it leaves no room for thoughts of the erotic... "I enjoy the lifestyle and the travel and meeting people, but you don't enjoy the sex. At least 90 per cent of the orgasms you have are faked; there is too much to concentrate on – the director, the camera angles and so on – that you just can't concentrate on enjoying yourself." All the actresses are so convincing in their expressions of coital bliss, that when Bianca says this, the eyes of every man in the room become glazed as they re-evaluate their sexual experiences one by one and become increasingly glum"

Aware objects tying NSmen benefits to public goods, - "Associate Professor Daniel Goh, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore, pointed out that while Aware's position was that no group should be specially privileged, they did not challenge certain groups of people, like single mothers, with access to some of these benefits. MP Alex Yam, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs agreed. He cited how the recently announced Pioneer Generation Package would provide health care benefits for those above 65. This was also a "fundamental benefit", he pointed out... When asked about this allegation, Ms Lim retorted: "The Pioneer Generation Package is different. It was not an entitlement, but a kind of compensation for what they had lost out earlier." MP Ellen Lee, the deputy chairman of the same GPC, said that the reality is that some NSmen do need help for the sacrifices that they have gone through to serve the nation, be it in their studies or careers."
Is AWARE against free education for Malays too?

Sultan of Brunei unveils strict sharia penal code - "67-year-old Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – one of the world's wealthiest men – said in his decree that the move was "a must" under Islam, dismissing "never-ending theories" that sharia punishments were cruel in comments clearly aimed at detractors. "Theory states that Allah's law is cruel and unfair but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair," he said. The initial phase beginning on Thursday introduces fines or jail terms for offences ranging from indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. A second phase covering crimes such as theft and robbery is to be implemented later this year, involving more stringent penalties such as severing of limbs and flogging. Late next year, punishments such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery will be introduced... The sultan first proposed the sharia penal code in 1990s, and in recent years has increasingly warned of rising crime and pernicious outside influences including the internet. He has called Islam a "firewall" against globalisation. He announced the implementation plans in October. Brunei is the first country in east or south-east Asia to introduce a sharia penal code on a national level. Situated on Borneo island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia, the small state already practised a relatively conservative form of Islam compared with its Muslim-majority neighbours, banning the sale of alcohol and restricting other religions. Muslim ethnic Malays, who make up about 70% of the population, are broadly supportive of the move by their revered father-figure."

Hong Kong Girls vs China Girls vs ABC Girls



Addendum: The subtitles don't show up on mobile, but on a proper computer it's hunky dory.

Translation from Reddit posted on video page:


-- Dining: Hong Kong Girl --

HKGirl: What should we eat later?
Guy : How about Korean BBQ? Korean BBQ is pretty good.
HKGirl: I'd get pimples.
Guy : How about Sushi then?
HKGirl: I don't even eat fish, shouldn't you know that already?
Guy : How about that restaurant with very delicious food?
HKGirl: But we have to wait ...
Guy : Okay, well, what do you want to eat?
HKGirl: Why can't you be more decisive? Are you a real man?

// HKGirl turns around and leaves.

-- Dining: Mainland Girl --

MLG: Where should we go for dinner?
Guy: Korean BBQ, Korean BBQ is pretty good. (with very lousy Mandarin)
MLG: How about we go to Peninsula for buffet? It's excellent there.
Guy: ... now?
MLG: Yeah! C'mon, let's go.

//MLG dragged the guy away

-- Dining: ABC Girl --

ABC: So where should we go for dinner tonight?
Guy: Well, how about we just find a restaurant nearby?
ABC: How about McDonald's?
Guy: MacDonald?!
ABC: C'mon ...
ABC: We can even pay for our own!
Guy: We pay for our own?!
ABC: Yeah!
ABC: Let's go! Let's go!

//ABC drags the guy away.

-- Meeting Friends: Hong Kong Girl --

Friend: Hey! Ain't you Ng! Long time no see!
Guy : Ain't you Look Chard? (Look Chard sounds like 6 7 which means stupid, dumb, dork in Cantonese)
Friend: Yeah! I'm Look Chard.
Guy : Yeah! Long time no see!
Friend: How have you been?
Guy : Oh, like usual, just walking around with my girlfriend.
Friend: You're so lucky having a girlfriend.
Guy : Oh, it's nothing. Let me introduce her to you.
Guy : WTF! Where did she go?
Guy : Hey! Come back!

// Guy runs away after his girlfriend.

-- Meeting Friends: Mainland Girl --

Friend: Ng! Long time no see!
Guy : Look Chard! Long time no see!
Friend: So how are you?
Guy : Oh, like usual, just walking around with my girlfriend.
Friend: You're so lucky having a girlfriend.
Guy : Oh, it's nothing. Let me introduce her to you.
Guy : WTF! Where did she go again?
Friend: Where?
MLG : You guys don't need to pay me any attention. I'll just do my makeup for a bit. You guys keep talking.

-- Meeting Friends: ABC Girl --

Friend: You're Ng! Long time no see!
ABC : Nice to meet you!
Friend: Nice to meet you!
ABC : Have you two known each other for a long time?
Friend: Yeah! We go way back. And you?
ABC : We only met since last week. Didn't he tell you?
Friend: Oh I didn't know.
ABC : How about we text (each other)? Give me your phone number?
Friend: Of course, no problem.

// Guy totally ignored.

-- After Dinner: Hong Kong Girl --

Guy: So we have finished dinner. So like you wanna — (cut off by HKG)
HKG: I need to go home. My parents said I have to be home before dusk.
Guy: Okay, I will take the bus with you.
HKG: You meant taxi.
Guy: Taxi?

// Guy follows HKG.

-- After Dinner: Mainland Girl --

Guy: Dinner is done. (with very lousy Mandarin)
Guy: You wanna ... ? You wanna come to my home for a cup of coffee?
MLG: Sure! I really want coffee.
Guy: Really? Let's take a taxi!

// Guy drags MLG away.

-- After Dinner: ABC --

Guy: So dinner is done.
Guy: Actually, do you wanna — (cut off by ABC)
ABC: How about let's go to your home? Coffee?
Guy: Good Idea!
Guy: But my dad and my mom are home.
ABC: Then, let's go to mine?
Guy: For real?
ABC: Yeah, there is no one. I live alone.
Guy: Really?
ABC: Hurry up!
Guy: Reallllly?

// ABC drags guy away.

(Ending Text: If you were him, which one would you choose?)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Links - 18th May 2014

Must Be Singapore - "PAP Youth Wing: Monotone speaking, inspiring such confidence"

Chris Powell's answer to What am I missing out on in life if I don't have a girlfriend? - Quora - "Hmmmm...
You'll miss out on...
-Used tampons sitting in the trash can every month.
-Hair clogging your sink and shower
-Extra clothes to wash (girls have skid marks, bro)
-Burnt dinners to clean up
-Mood swings that have to be dealt with on a delicate level.
-Constant need of approval
-Constant need of attention
-Constant need of affection
-Constant questioning of your actions
-You miss out on privacy
-Catering to someone else's every need
-Poker night at your favorite bar
Just a few things...
But let's not forget the most important part you'll miss out on...
Other women! ;) (jk)"

Driver Who Fatally Injured Teen Now Suing Dead Teen's Family - "A woman who struck three teens on bikes while driving her SUV, killing one and injuring the others, is now suing the deceased teen, his family, and the other two boys. She is claiming $1.35 million in damages for her psychological suffering... Cameron, the family's lawyer, has filed a lawsuit against Simon for medical and funeral costs on behalf of the boys and their families. He alleges that she was speeding and may have been intoxicated and talking on her cellphone. "They did not apply their brakes properly," Simon's claim states. "They were incompetent bicyclists.""

Playboy Sued for Allegedly Indulging in Painful 'Fore-Play' - "Woman claims she was struck in the buttocks with a golf club during event"

Zombie apocalypse training exercise cancelled by Quebec - "There will be no zombie apocalypse in Quebec next week. The provincial government has stepped in to cancel plans for a zombie-themed emergency training exercise. Participants at an annual symposium on civil security had been planning to use a hypothetical zombie attack to test emergency preparedness. Such a theme has been used elsewhere. The logic behind it is to use something that can never actually occur, as opposed to a flood or an ice storm, because that way emergency-preparedness officials might think of new problems and solutions... Hypothetical zombie attacks are becoming a popular emergency preparedness teaching tool. Even the Centers for Disease Control in the United States has used the tactic."

Anup Sastry's answer to How can I find a decent and expressive guy and make him my friend? - Quora - "A girl asking for tips on "how to friendzone a guy"
Now i have seen everything in life... Can die peacefully"

Chinese man ties gas canister to girlfriend and ignites it - "After rescuing the girl and extinguishing the blaze, police then rescued the man who suffered more severe burns as a result, and who is not expected to survive. The young woman's family said they had warned her against getting involved too quickly with Li Moulian, from Lufeng City located in the southeast of Guangdong Province. Her uncle Wu Chin, 47, said: 'We had warned her that she needed to know more about him before deciding to spend her life with him, it seems sadly the warnings were true as he clearly has mental problems. 'To suddenly accuse her in the middle of the night trying to kill his parents shows he is obviously severely paranoid. 'It is a bad start in life for the child as well with the father having obvious mental problems.'"

Jessica Hui's answer to Do women prefer toilet seats be left up or down? - Quora - "Down. Being that we, you know, generally sit on the toilet, it's not a great prospect to unwittingly (especially in the middle of the night or early in the morning) plop down on a seatless toilet and possibly fall in."
"Why wouldn't you want to check first before you pee? I always check first to make sure the seat is up before I pee. If I didn't I'd probably end up peeing all over the seat cover half the time.
Do women just take a flying butt-first leap at the toilet when they go to pee? Is that why they don't check?"


Infidels go to hell, Isma leader reminds Muslims mourning Karpal’s passing - "In a rebuke aimed at Muslims mourning the death of veteran opposition politician Karpal Singh, a leader of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) stressed today that infidels go to hell when they die. Isma central committee member Mohd Hazizi Ab Rahman, called on Muslims to be more discerning when they pay their respects. “In the Quran, Allah stated many times that the place for those who die an infidel is hell,” Hazizi was quoted as saying on Isma’s website. “Therefore, for those who refute this, it means they have rejected Allah’s revelation,” he added. Hazizi’s remarks were in response to several Muslims who claimed on social media that Karpal will be rewarded in the afterlife for his good deeds... Hazizi’s comments echoed a statement by the National Fatwa Council in December last year, advising Muslims against using the phrase “rest in peace” in reference to deceased non-Muslims. The council said it was fine for Muslims to mourn the death of non-Muslims but insisted that those who die as infidels will not receive forgiveness and blessings from Allah."

PAP Flip Flop: Singaporeans Skills Not Enough, But Too Much Skills - "On Saturday, I nearly fell off my chair when I read what Tan Chuan-Jin had said. At first, Today reported that Tan Chuan-Jin had said that, “The Government has identified more than 50 firms that have a disproportionately low share of Singaporean professionals, managers and executives compared to others in their industry and that may have scope to improve their hiring and career development practices.” However, Chuan-Jin then added that, “In some cases, the issue may not be a problem with their HR practices per se, but rather, a gap in the skills that are available in the local workforce.” So, according to Chuan-Jin, maybe it’s not that firms were unfair in not hiring Singaporeans. Maybe Singaporeans just didn’t have the skills? So, Singaporeans do not have the skills to be “professionals, managers and executives”? But then, I saw another report in The Business Times which reported that, “Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday cautioned against Singapore producing too many graduates who can’t find enough good jobs – a predicament South Korea and Taiwan find themselves in today.” He had said that, “Their relentless pursuit of paper qualifications resulted in a glut of graduates… The director-general of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education stated that ‘the abundance of (university) places had undermined the quality of degrees and created a skills mismatch in the job market. People became over-educated and underemployed.”"
Bad comprehension skills = "Flip Flop"

After Prank by Dutch Girl on Twitter, Real Trouble - NYTimes.com - "Youthful pranks in the age of Twitter are no laughing matter, especially if you are a 14-year-old Dutch girl impersonating a terrorist. When the girl, using the Twitter handle @QueenDemetriax_, sent a threat to American Airlines on Sunday, she surely could not have imagined that by Tuesday she would be arrested by the Rotterdam police, attract a global media storm and become the object of both fierce derision and sympathy."

PM defends three core principles of Singapore - "Or you can go by race - 'That person is the right race, so he gets extra marks in the exam, extra advantage for schools admissions and for jobs.' - Is that the Singapore we have fought to build?" he asked."
"Or you can go by race. That person is the right race, he gets extra marks in his PR and naturalisation application. He is the reason why we can keep Singapore at the same racial proportion for decades despite the mathematical impossibility from our natural birth rates. Do we want that? Is that the Singapore we have fought to build?"

US Airways Tweets Out VERY NSFW Photo Of Woman With Toy Plane - "US Airways apologized for an extremely graphic photo that it shared earlier today, depicting a naked woman in a sexual position with a toy plane. On Monday afternoon, the airline tweeted the photo to a customer who was complaining about their service. US Airways said in the tweet, "We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail here for review and follow up.""

Ladies of the Guardian: please stop writing about sex - "It’s a firm rule that, to write on matters sexual, you have to be a young female with a jaunty prose style and a strong belief that (fully consensual) sex is GREAT! It’s good dirty fun – if you’re doing it right! Articles that take a more nuanced line are as rare as non-Etonian cabinet ministers. A visiting Martian might be curious to know why this puffing of sex has to come from female writers – don’t men enjoy the bliss of sex too? Yes they do, but when they express this they are prone to a dodgy excess, to thinking Bad Thoughts that disrespect women, to tainting this magic playground with the sins of our fathers. They must patiently stay on the naughty step a while longer. All sexuality is equal, but some is more in tune with the basic goodness of sex. Only women can fully express this goodness. (Male writers must stick to sober, sad sex topics like erectile dysfunction)... Ladies of the Guardian: please stop writing about sex, because you’re not good enough at it. Serious writing about sex means pondering some difficult truths – for example, that the sexual impulse is something that needs to be reined in, most of the time. It has to be kept within pretty tight confines. This is difficult to reflect on; it means suspecting one’s own impulses, admitting their moral fallibility. Easier to pretend that sex is just a pure, easy, innocent pleasure-source, and that people who doubt it are repressed reactionaries. I recently came across an excellent essay on this issue, by the American writer Mark Greif, called ‘Afternoon of the Sex Children’. Sexual liberation was a good and necessary thing, he says. But, fuelled by commercialism, it developed a downside: it led to a culture of the simplistic promotion of sex, as a badge of being a liberated modern. A true test of liberation, he says, ‘must be whether you have also been freed to be free from sex... There’s a fine line between a healthy frankness about sex and an unhealthy evasion of its complexity. By ignoring this line the whole time, the Guardianmakes itself look lightweight."

Kitten Nearly Dies On Vegan Diet, Gets Healed With Meat - "Veterinarians in Australia who cared for a violently ill vegan kitten are warning pet owners not to "force ideologies" on their pets"

Age at Coresidence, Premarital Cohabitation, and Marriage Dissolution: 1985–2009 - "Does the age at which premarital cohabitors moved in together explain why they have been found to have an increased risk of marital dissolution? Explanations for the increased risk of marriage dissolution among those who marry young center on marital role preparation; for premarital cohabitors, many, if not most, of these roles began at the onset of cohabitation, not marriage. Analyses of the 1995, 2002, and 2006–2010 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (N = 7,037) revealed that age at coresidence explained a substantial portion of the higher marital dissolution risk of premarital cohabitors. In comparisons standardized by age at coresidence, the difference in risk of marital dissolution between premarital cohabitors and those who married without prior cohabitation (“direct marriers”) was much smaller than in comparisons standardized by age at marriage, and in some models this difference was not significant. Selection into direct marriage and premarital cohabitation was also examined."

Seven Reasons Why Gay People Are Better Than Straight People - "EDITOR'S NOTE: We do not think all gay people are better than all straight people. We, in fact, do not think all gay people are anything. (Or all straight people, for that matter.) These are just some general observations. So please, lighten up."
If someone had posted "Seven Reasons Why Straight People Are Better Than Gay People"...
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